There used to be a saying that adorned many a retail counter in businesses across the country: “The customer is always right.” But let’s face it: The customer isn’t always right. Sometimes, there are legitimate reasons you can’t give a client exactly what they want. That said, the customer is why businesses are in business, so their needs must be paramount. So, the maxim that business owners and their employees should focus on instead is “Put the customer first.”
This philosophy is called “customer-centric service.” It means keeping customer needs top of mind and structuring all customer interactions in a way that elevates the Voice of the Customer – not forcing them to do business in a way that makes life easier for the company. And the best way to do that is to collect customer feedback regularly and act on it promptly. Take these three steps.
1. Encourage Feedback
Getting customers to rate their experience is no easy feat. Pew Research found that only 8-10% of Americans consistently leave reviews for products and services. This is mostly because customers generally prefer to get their transaction done and get on with their lives. With that in mind, it’s important to encourage feedback by making it as quick and painless as possible. Whether you use email surveys, voice bots, chatbots, or real, live humans to collect customer opinions, do so with as few questions and clicks as possible.
2. Cast a Wider Net
If you limit opportunities for customer feedback to the point of sale or service, you’ll get limited responses. Try soliciting opinions in different places, like your social media channels or online forums. The other benefit of varying your data collection points is that you’ll get strong opinions, but not necessarily ones that were formed in the heat of the moment – which could skew your results.
3. Collect Data in a Way that Makes It Easier to Analyze
Qualitative analysis, in which you just read through customer responses, can provide some good anecdotal evidence, but it makes it harder to organize data and track trends. Try sorting the responses you get into groups like “good or bad feedback,” “product vs. process,” and so on. You can do this by designing a spreadsheet yourself, investing in tracking software or hiring a third-party vendor to handle both the survey process and the collection and organization of data.
4. Present Your Findings
Much like employee surveys, customer surveys are only valuable if you act on the information you receive. So, whatever means you use for collecting data, analyze it for ways you could make your company’s customer service stronger, then present your findings and recommendations to the people who have the authority and resources to implement changes based on what you’ve learned.
Need Help Hiring?
By giving your customers what they want in a customer experience, you’ll build retention and strengthen your business. And if you’d like more insights on building your business, contact Arrow Staffing for assistance in recruiting, staffing, and customer service.